With COVID-19 continuing its course and minimizing all types of human contact (and the marketing opportunities that come with large gatherings), many struggles continue to weigh down on companies across the country. With struggles come cuts, and marketing departments are finding themselves with smaller and smaller budgets as the pandemic rolls on. Creativity is generally the name of the game in coming up with marketing planning strategies, but it is now just as important to be creative with ways to market on a budget, and social media brand influencers offer an affordable means of continuing to push your product or service without a huge price tag.
In 2019, brand influencers generated $8 billion for themselves, but more importantly to the marketing team, the average ROI for a dollar spent on brand influencers was $6.50. So, that $8 billion spent wound up generating $52 billion for the brands, and that’s money very well spent by anyone’s measure. On the other side, a number as big as $8 billion may make some marketing teams balk, in thinking that initial investments must be high, and for some influencers like Beyonce and Billie Eilish that is very true.
Nano and micro-influencers, however, come with a much smaller price tag, but often outperform their macro counterparts when it comes to ROI percentages. With this, a focus on these individuals can be a low-budget way to continue a marketing campaign during the pandemic, and one silver lining of COVID is that more people are remote working and online, meaning more chances for your new brand influencers to do their influencing!
What are Nano and Micro Influencers?
Nano-influencers generally have 1,000 to 5,000 social media followers, and the micro-influencer title is generally given to those with 5,000 to 10,000 followers, but some sources use these terms interchangeably, and it seems to be fair to do so as the big money differences don’t really occur until influencer reach tops 6 digits.
These influencers generally have followers across many different social media outlets, and TikTok has been a powerful tool for startups looking to utilize brand influencers, as it has experienced the most rapid growth during COVID when compared to other social media services like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. This trend is expected to continue, and thus your marketing dollar may go even further when working with brand influencers with a heavy following on TikTok.
The Perfect Niche
Ultimately, choosing your nano and micro-influencers should be as much based on who follows them as it is on how many followers they have. With large-scale brand influencers, you can rest assured that your message will fall on many deaf ears who simply don’t care about anything related to your product or service, but when choosing nano-influencers, the right strategies can result in tapping into an entire following that is interested in things relative to your brand.
For instance, the videogame revolution in the United States is booming, and professional gamers are as popular amongst fans of digital competition as basketball players are to their fans. As a bonus, the followers of these gamers are generally more tech savvy, and thus more frequently engaged with social media. For a company with a product or service revolving around gaming, reaching out to an up-and-comer in this niche can almost guarantee that they’ll be reaching out to a very high percentage of their followers with a brand influence campaign.
If you tap an influencer who has 8,000 followers, but said influencer is only popular because of one thing and your brand is relative to that thing, it can mean more brand engagement than tapping someone who has 50,000 followers, but whose popularity is not really related to your product or service. This a type of persuasive advertising called creating associations and connection that isn’t well know by the consumer. Researching the followers’ habits of your potential brand influencers is more important than picking someone with a lot of followers who is willing to work for cheap.
As mentioned in the introduction, some brand influencer contracts come with big, big dollars, and as an example: Kylie Jenner is the highest paid social media influencer on the planet right now, and when used as a brand influencer reaching her 165 million Instagram followers, she receives $1 million for each sponsored post.
At the micro levels, however, a recent rule of thumb is about $25 per 1,000 followers, meaning the theoretical person with 8,000 followers mentioned above would probably charge $100 for a sponsored post featuring your brand. If you have an in-house graphic designer with social media specialties, that $100 is the total spend for your entire project that could, depending on how well your influencer’s followers have been researched, result in legitimate upticks in sales overnight.
Rates differ depending on the medium, but contractually speaking, it is the norm that these influencers will share your brand across their different channels of influence.
No one can argue that social media can have negative effects when utilized incorrectly or immorally, but when it comes to instant analytics, social media sites are fantastic. Your marketing team can see real-time engagements with the sponsored post(s) your chosen brand influencer(s) put on their pages, and this makes it a big time and money saver to decide if you want to continue working with a given influencer.
In the nano and micro-influencer world, marketing teams can rest easier realizing a $100 investment didn’t provide a solid ROI, compared to a paid marketing campaign on social media that, not only costs more to get a similar reach, but also is more difficult to gauge the success of due to the fact that mediums who are getting paid off of your advertising spend are naturally going to tell you it’s working well, even if it is not.
Evaluate and Refocus
What this measurability allows for is almost instant evaluation relative to your marketing spend on a given influencer. As social media stars rise and fall as quickly as social media trends do, it’s important to continually evaluate the success of your micro-influencer spend, knowing that you can simply spend that money on another influencer who is more on the rise rather than the decline.
With all of this in mind, content is still the deciding factor regarding a successful brand influencer campaign, and before choosing the who and how, make sure your message is geared towards the demographic your influencer is praised by, rather than using the same messaging you’d use for a macro campaign.